Posted by David Vanadia on Thu, Aug 7 at 11:32 AM in the Portland Mercury

Apparently there were twenty thousand people at Last Thursday on Alberta. With rainy season just around the corner, it’s no doubt this week’s First Thursday in the Pearl District will be equally as busy. Since First Thursday is like heaven on earth for starving artists (because it’s the only day we can look at art and eat out in the Pearl District) below are my recommendations for scoring a bite.


Mark Wooley Gallery – Always good for a handful of peanuts but not worth the walk to downtown. Stay in the Pearl. 817 SW 2nd

Chambers Gallery – I have no idea what they serve because it’s so far out of the Pearl that I rarely ever go there. But wait! Chambers is moving into that (used to be) dilapidated storefront across the street from PDX Contemporary. You know, the one with the big windows that you’ve walked by many times and thought, “That would make a nice gallery.” 205 SW Pine

Pearl District

Albina Bank – Best food, hands down. They used to put stuff out like it was a European wedding but have gotten a little conservative lately. Olives, chips and salsa, cheese and crackers, grapes, strawberries, salami, candy, hummus, carrots, and broccoli are all standard fare. Plus they have that art market in the garage area where – if you stand in front of the sensor in the doorway – you can make the alarm go off and watch everyone freak out. 430 NW 10th

Elizabeth Leach Gallery – If you like hummus, broccoli, carrots, bread and Brie, this is the place for you. They usually have wine as well and sometimes they even show art. 417 NW 9th

Black Fish Gallery – Pretzels. Always pretzels. 420 NW 9th

PDX Contemporary – Doesn’t serve food but probably has lots of leftovers from last month’s show Kind of Like a Buffet. 925 NW Flanders

Everett Station Lofts – I haven’t had good food at the ES lofts since Starling Gallery closed. To quote Double J, “Come on people, let’s step up.” 625 NW Everett

Blue Sky Gallery – Behind the front desk you’ll find a bowl of broken up cookies to get you through the otherwise non-existent offering of food in the Desoto building. 122 NW 8th

Quality Pictures – When they first opened they had mad catered chocolate festivals. These days you can still count on Q.P. for something unpredictable, like quiche. 916 NW Hoyt

Powells Books – Portland’s premiere velcro-monster-design art gallery (in the Pearl room) often has a decent veggie tray that goes unravaged if you hit it early. 1005 W Burnside

Icebreaker – This is a clothing store but they’re having an event with refreshments. Worth checking into since it’s just across the street from Powells. 1109 W Burnside

Lizard Lounge – Another clothing store featuring art, live music, beer, wine and Stumptown coffee. It’s on the art walk just blocks from PNCA. 1323 NW Irving